500 Festival Princesses are Teaming Up for the #IndyVirtualChallenge

The 2020 500 Festival Princess Program has accepted the #IndyVirtualChallenge! The 2020 500 Festival Princesses have teamed up to conquer the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge as a way to stay physically active and connected with the 500 Festival. Check out a few of our 500 Festival Princesses on their journey to conquering 500 miles below:


Nicole Zellers


I am participating in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge as a way to push myself to stay active this fall and continue to recover from a knee injury. My motivation to join the challenge is to stay active and compete with my mom to hold each other accountable. Plus, the 500 miles associated with the Indy 500 and the Month of May is a fun bonus. So far, I have completed my miles by walking, swimming, and biking. Biking has been my favorite so far because I can bike for several miles and see a lot of my neighborhood on a trail. I would encourage everyone to take the challenge because it’s a fun way to stay active with a very supportive community surrounding you. My advice to participants is not to be too hard on yourself if you have a period of time where you aren’t able to complete as many miles as normal.



Sydney Meyers

I’m taking on the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge because it’s a great opportunity to still be involved and feel connected with the 500 Festival without the in-person experience in May. All of the 500 Festival Princesses are my motivation! Everyone is so excited and sharing their accomplishments with each other. I have been biking and running to complete my miles, but biking has been my favorite because it is something my dad and I like to do together. My cousin is also taking on the #IndyVirtualChallenge as well. I would encourage someone to take the challenge because it is a fun way to exercise and know that others are doing it with you! To Challenge participants, I would encourage you to find someone to do the challenge with you to keep each other accountable.



Meg Schleter

I’m participating in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge to “challenge” myself to meet my fitness goals and stay on a schedule. I want to feel healthier and practice healthy habits! My motivation to take on the challenge has changed since signing up. After signing up, I broke my foot and am now non-weight bearing, but I still want to keep up with the challenge and push myself to be able to take on recovery more easily. I’m still able to get my miles in, it just looks different! I have been using an upper body ergo-meter (arm cycling machine) and swimming with my arms to get my miles in and so far, it’s been enjoyable! Swimming is my favorite because I used to be a swimmer in middle school and always had a fun time with it! I look forward to being able to cycle and then eventually run later on this year. Along with the other 500 Festival Princesses, one of my best friends from home is also taking on the challenge with me. I would encourage someone to do the challenge for themselves and for their health! Especially during the difficult time that the world is going through, this challenge can provide you with a fun and health-focused activity. It’s been proven that exercise can make you feel better emotionally as well, and I know I have relied on movement when I feel like I am in a funk. My advice is to make a schedule and stick to it, but also to listen to your body and know when it needs a break. Also, never skip stretching! Something I have implemented is to “reward” myself after I have reached a certain milestone (for me, 100 miles) with something I’ve been wanting to buy or do, which can give you something to look forward to as you are getting started.


Are you up for the challenge? Take on the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge today! Registration is open NOW and you can backlog your miles starting on June 22! What are you waiting for? Sign up at: indymini.com/500 miles.

96 Years and 100 Miles

We have been overwhelmed with the positive response we have received about the newly launch Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge! It’s been so inspiring to see everyone’s personal journey to their 100 mile or 500 mile goal.


Our participants come from across the globe and are a full range of ages. Each one has their own reasoning for joining, from needing some extra fitness motivation during the COVID-19 pandemic to some friendly virtual competition between loved ones they have been separated from.


At 96 years old, our oldest participant, Phyllis Hart, is also grandmother to the 500 Festival’s Jen Lowe!  Phyllis is ready to take on this new virtual challenge and got excited when she learned of this opportunity. Her retirement community was thrilled for when they learned she was the oldest participant and are cheering on their impressive neighbor.



“All my life I have tried to walk,” said Phyllis. My late husband and I use to walk around our neighborhood or at the mall often.  As years progressed, I’ve been a member of the YMCA and attended classes at our local senior center which offered me the opportunity to have exercises specifically tailored towards those my age and work out with my peers.”


Check out what Phyllis has to say about this new fitness experience!


What made you interested in joining the virtual challenge?


I thought the virtual challenge sounded interesting.  My daughter, granddaughter-in-law, and granddaughter (who works for the 500 Festival) were all doing one of the challenges and I wanted to join them.  I wanted to have another achievement to strive for.  And, I thought it would be helpful for me to have something positive to focus on during these times.


What’s your favorite way to exercise/get your miles in?


My preferred exercise would be to take a walk outside when it’s not too hot.  It feels so good to be outside moving around.  In addition to walking, I do the stationary bike for ½ a mile daily and attend a seniors exercise class 3 times a week where we do a variety of exercises and stretching.  I don’t have a set schedule so it’s not rigid but does prioritize exercise.


What advice would you give other participants to encourage them toward their goal?


Do something every day!  Don’t overdo it and know your capacity.  But do something every day.


Join us in cheering on Phyllis as she works toward her goal of 100 miles! She’s started her journey and intends to keep powering through until the end of the year.


“I’ve already started tracking my miles and got a new pedometer to help me keep on top of it.  It’s nice to look at my daily progress and see where the differences are and what I’ve accomplished.  I estimate that I will reach my 100 miles in 2-3 months.  I plan to keep going even after I’m passed my 100 miles until the end of the year.  I didn’t want to sign up for the 500-mile goal as I thought it might be a bit much for me, but you never know where the road will take you.  I’ll keep exercising and we’ll see.”


Interested in participating in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Freedom 100 Mile Challenge? Registration is open NOW and you can even backlog your miles starting on June 22! Sign up today at indymini.com/500 miles.


Add Virtual Badges to Your #IndyVirtualChallenge Finisher Certificate or Bib!

Celebrate milestones as you make your way to the finish line of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge with our virtual badges! You can post these badges on social media and also add them to your bib and finisher certificate.


Download badges PNGs here.


How to add the badges to your bib or finisher certificate:


On your computer:

  1. Download the png overlay of the virtual badge you want to add
  2. Download your bib or finisher certificate
  3. Drag and drop the badge png on top of your image.
  4.  Scale to preferred size.
  5.  Save image.


On your Android phone:

  1.  Download the png overlay image and save it to your photo gallery
  2.  Open your bib or finisher certificate
  3.  Click on the edit/add sticker button and click “sticker from gallery”
  4.  Choose the Virtual Badge PNG you downloaded and stretch it to fit your image.


On your iPhone:

  1. Download the bib and/or certificate and virtual badges to your camera roll
  2. Download a photo editing app, such as Canva or Adobe Photoshop Express
  3. Follow the instructions from the app you choose to add your virtual badges.


You can also share your badges with us on social media by using #IndyVirtualChallenge! Download badges sized for social media here. We can’t wait to see your pics.


Healthy Steps Toward the Future

Judy Parker never imagined she would complete a 5K. However, on June 11, she did just that. Together, Judy and her niece Michelle conquered the 2020 Virtual Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K in Judy’s hometown of Pittsboro, IN.  

Judy was married to her late husband, Marvin, for 41 wonderful years. However, Marvin battled Parkinson’s disease for 25 of those years. Judy had spent many of these years taking great care of Marvin, graciously putting his needs before her own. Unfortunately, this took a toll on Judy’s health. Two years ago, Judy was diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer. Her diagnosis was a major eye opener for Judy. This prompted her to make some lifestyle changes, which led her to her first 5K.  

Leading up to the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, Judy began walking at least one mile a day and gradually added more. Though a challenge at first, the distance grew easier with time. She was thrilled that her niece, Michelle, had agreed to show her support by also participating in the virtual 5K. Though they were hoping to conquer the in-person course in 2020, they embraced the new challenge while still looking forward to next year’s race. Walking their virtual 5K in Judy’s hometown was incredibly special, as the two had endless support from local friends and family. Their encouragement made Judy work even harder and their support means more to her than they will ever know. 

Michelle is so proud to have been a part of her aunt’s journey. For her, the virtual 5K was more about Judy’s success than her own. Judy was their motivation to push toward the finish line. Michelle is grateful to support Judy in all she does.  

“My aunt Judy is a larger than life character,” Michelle says.” Anyone that knows her, loves her. She deeply and unconditionally loved my uncle through his illness for many years. She always makes you laugh even when her heart is breaking. She misses my uncle terribly, but I know he is looking down on her today and saying ‘Judy I am so proud of you.’ You don’t see this kind of love often, but when you do, it makes an impact. She is a one of a kind lady. She has made my life so much sweeter and I am so blessed to be a part of this journey with her.” Healthy Steps Toward the Future

Meet Our BRAND-NEW Virtual Challenge! 🌟 

Have you heard the exciting news? We launched the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge, the latest 500 Festival initiative to encourage active lifestyles outside of the Month of May! The Indy 500 Mile Challenge is a virtual program where participants will complete 500 miles of physical activity between June 22 and December 31, 2020. 

If you’re not quite ready to take on 500 miles, you also have the option to complete 100 miles of physical activity during the same timeframe in the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge.  

How To Complete Your Challenge:
  1. Register for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Freedom 100 Mile Challenge
  2. Receive your confirmation email with invites to our leader board, Strava group, private Facebook group, online resources, referral program
  3. Start logging miles on June 22
  4. View our custom leader board. You’ll be able to rank yourself against your friends and other runners from around the United States.
  5. Challenge your friends and family to take on the Indy 500 Mile Challenge by creating a Challenge Team!
  6. Receive your participant swag (shirt, medal, pin and other items)
  7. Finish the challenge stronger than you ever thought you could.
Ready to Take on the Challenge? 👟 

The Indy 500 Mile virtual challenge lets you log your mileage anytime, anywhere! Participants can log miles by running, walking, wheelchair, biking, swimming, and even through fitness classes! This virtual fitness experience allows participants to challenge themselves in a fun, new way. Whether spending these months cross-training for your next OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or need to jump-start your fitness routine, this challenge is the perfect enhancement for all ages and lifestyles.

Join us for this exciting new high-mileage adventure– the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge! 🏁 Participants can register for the Indy 500 Challenge and Freedom 100 Challenge starting today and participation will be limited to the first 8,000 registered participants.  

We Are Here to Cheer YOU On!

Whether you are completing the miles with friends and family for fun or setting fitness goals for 2020, we are here to cheer you on and support you every step along the way!  Bookmark this page to keep up with fitness journey running tips and be a part of this brand-new virtual fitness challenge with race fans from all over the world.

We Know You Have What It Takes

We hope you will join us for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge, the second greatest spectacle in racing! 


“Our” Indy Mini

Family and friends from all over the world have been crushing their 2020 Virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathons! For this group of five, the virtual Indy Mini was a chance to participate with thousands of runners across the globe, but to conquer their Indy Mini. 

On a sunny Saturday morning in Marion, Indiana, Caleb Hawkins, Micah Hawkins, Dr. Rusty Hawkins, Nathaniel Beck, and Jeff Tabone set out for their virtual Indy Mini. These runners are no strangers to athletic challenges. Caleb, Micah, and Nathaniel are avid runners that compete in cross country and track for Marion County Schools. With the cancellation of their regular track season, the three boys did not shy away from their Indy Mini training. They maintained 5-6 runs per week. Running has been their source of mental and physical health during the pandemic. It broke up the days, gave them somewhere to go, and something to look forward to. Caleb and Micah’s father, Dr. Rusty Hawkins, is a History & Humanities professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. As a way to keep the boys entertained while training, he gave history lectures during their long runs. This came about as the university moved online mid-March and his sons became the audience for his recorded lectures. Some of the boys’ favorite lessons included the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, and the O.J. Simpson trial. Luckily, giving history lectures was just as entertaining for Dr. Hawkins as it was for the boys. The 2020 virtual Indy Mini was Dr. Hawkins eighth consecutive Indy Mini, Caleb’s fifth, and Micah’s second. Dr. Jeffrey Tabone is also a faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University. Though his first Indy Mini, Dr. Tabone enjoys competing in triathlons and Ironman races.  

The morning of their Indy Mini, over 50 friends, family, church members, and coaches came out to support the runners while following social distancing guidelines. To enhance their race experience, they volunteered to keep time, work aid stations at every mile, ring bells, blast music, and more! To ensure COVID-19 safety measures were in place, the volunteers wore masks and cheered from afar after setting up the hydration stations. The runners said they always love the support from thousands of spectators during the Indy Mini, but this was particularly special as the fans were cheering just for them. Caleb, Micah, and Dr. Hawkins all broke their personal records as well. Though their Indy Mini may have looked different, these runners, family, and friends were able to overcome challenges to show what community and resilience truly mean. 

How to Log Your #IndyVirtualChallenge Miles

The Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and Indianapolis Freedom 100 Challenge has officially begun! Participants can log their miles into RunSignUp from June 22 until December 31. Need some help getting started? Read below how you can log your miles!

There are two ways to log your miles if you are signed into your RunSignup account:

Through your confirmation email

    • Click “manage your registration”
    • Click “view registration”
    • Click “submit virtual results”

Through your RSU account

      • Sign into your RSU account at runsignup.com
      • Click the profile bottom in the top right corner of the page
      • Click “profile”
      • There, you will see a list of upcoming races that is unique to each participant
      • Click “submit virtual results” under the Indy 500 Mile Challenge or Freedom 100 Mile Challenge

If you are not signed into your account

        • Go to the race website:
        • Click “results”
        • Click “Submit virtual results”
        • Look up a participant by first name/last name OR by email/DOB
        • You will be directed to authorize results by either entering the email or last four digits of the phone number were use when the participant first registered

If you receive a locked out message

          • If a participant gets an error that says they are locked out, it means that they have set up their RunSignup account so that they can only log miles when they are logged in. i.e.: cannot log miles by following the steps of #2
          • They will need to log in through one of the ways in #1, and get to their mileage log page.
          • From there, they can unclick the box that says “Only allow me to post results when logged in as…”

Once a participant has accessed their mileage log for the first time, it is highly recommended that the page be bookmarked for easy access over the coming months. You can learn how to add a website bookmark to your phone’s home screen for Android or iPhone.

Social Media Toolkit for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge

Run, walk, hike, bike or swim your way to 500 miles with the BRAND NEW Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge! Register now and log your miles from June 22 to December 31. You’ve accepted a major challenge, now let the world know it! Our social media toolkit is filled with resources to help you promote your challenge and stay motivated on your goal.

Click here to access our library of images you can post on your social media channels

How to download social media shareables from Dropbox
1. Click the link to the Dropbox folder filled with images (you do not need a dropbox account)
2. Select the photo you want to download
3. Right click the photo OR click the three dots button
4. Select “save photo as” or download

How to add a frame to your Facebook profile pic
1. Go to Facebook.com/profilepicframes
2. Search for Freedom 100 Mile Challenge or Indy 500 Mile Challenge
3. Select the frame and reposition your photo if necessary
4. Select the time you would like for it to remain your profile pic
5. Push “Use As My Profile Pic”


How to add a photo as your phone background


  1. Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Choose a preset image from a group at the top of the screen (Dynamic, Stills, and so on). Wallpaper marked with  changes appearance when Dark Mode is turned on.
  • Select one of your own photos (tap an album, then tap the photo).To reposition your selected image, pinch open to zoom in on it, then drag the image with your finger to move it. Pinch closed to zoom back out.
  1. Tap Set, then choose one of the following:
    • Set Lock Screen
    • Set Home Screen
    • Set Both


  1. Tap and hold the home screen.
  2. Tap Styles & wallpapersfrom the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose from the collections of wallpapersincluded with your phone, or from third-party applications.
  4. Tap the wallpaperyou want to use.
  5. Adjust the positioning and size and then tap Set wallpaperin the bottom right corner of your screen.
  6. Choose whether you want to set the wallpaper for your Home screenLock screenor both Home and lock screen.


Gear Up for the Challenge- Helpful Tools to Track Your Miles

Get ready conquer the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge! The mileage may seem daunting, but there are many useful tools and resources to help you keep track your physical activity, set daily reminders, share activity to motivate yourself and other challenges, and much more. Check out some helpful tools to crush your mileage below:


  1. Strava is a great tool to log your miles and record physical activity. It can be used to track running, walking, biking, and even swimming. You can also share activity with friends and community. Join the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and Indianapolis 100 Mile Challenge Strava group to connect with and motivate other challengers!
  2. Runkeeper is also a useful tool for tracking running and cycling. Additional features include the ability to create your own playlists, set goals, and join social challenges.
  3. MapMyRide is a great option for tracking cycling mileage. It provides reliable biking data, allows ride shares, creates social challenges, and provides meal tracking.
  4. Nike + Fuel is also functional tool for tracking biking and running. The app allows you to compete against friends and provides guided exercise routines.
  5. MapMyFitness offers specific tracking options for walking, hiking, dog walking and more.
  6. There are also various apps that provide encouragement and daily reminders such as Human, Carrot Fit, Tep, Charity Miles, and more!

Wearable tools

  1. Smartwatches such as an Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch, FitBit, etc., provide useful tools for tracking physical activity such as pedometer step counting, daily reminders, and heart rate monitoring, in addition to tracking specific to your activity.
  2. Pedometers are the original fitness trackers! A simple pedometer to track your steps will let you know how many miles you have earned daily running and walking.

Starting June 22, you can complete your miles and submit them through RunSignUp to rack up your miles toward your 100 mile or 500 mile goal! Still need to register? Don’t wait, both challenges are filling up fast! Register at indymini.com/500miles.

Why Should You Take the Challenge?

Looking for a new way to challenge yourself in 2020? Take on the all new Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge! Be a part of this brand-new virtual fitness challenge with race fans from all over the world. Challenge yourself to complete 500 or 100 miles of physical activity between June 22 and December 31, 2020. Tackle the mileage by running, walking, swimming, biking, or anything that gets your body moving! Why should you take on this challenge? The benefits of moving your body and maintaining an active lifestyle are endless!

Improve mental health and mood

    • Physical activity can help improve your mood and mental health. While exercising, the body releases chemicals that can boost your mood. This can also be a benefit to relieve stress and reduce your risk of depression.

Increased energy levels

    • Increasing your heart rate during exercise will increase your energy levels by improving muscle strength and boosting endurance.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

    • The American Cancer Society has recently recommended that adults achieve 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or a combination. Teens and children should achieve at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day. These recommendations can help reduce the risk of cancer and increase overall health.

Family Time

    • Encourage your family and friends to join you in taking on the Challenge! You can complete the Challenge as individuals or as a Challenge Team. Get the whole family moving by going on family walks, runs, bike rides, or days at the pool!

Cross Train for the 2021 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

    • Cross training includes any physical activity that supplements your main sport and can offer many benefits to your Indy Mini training. These benefits can include strengthening your muscles, improving cardiovascular fitness, reducing risk of injury, and more.
      • Swimming: beat the summer heat; easier on joints; improve flexibility
      • Fitness classes: change up your routine; meet new people
      • Weight lifting: strengthen muscles; strengthen core
      • Cycling: improve cardiovascular fitness and strength
      • Yoga: strengthen muscles; improve flexibility

Registration for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge are now open! Conquer the challenge individually or as a Challenge Team. Be a part of the second greatest spectacle in racing!